News and Events

Okeechobee Youth Will Not Be Big Tobacco's Experimental Lab Rats!
October 21, 2021

Students Working Against Tobacco (SWAT) clubs across Okeechobee County participated in ‘Not a Lab Rat’ day on October 21, 2021. ‘Not a Lab Rat’ Day is a statewide initiative for SWAT youth to take a stand against Big Tobacco. SWAT’s goal is to bring awareness to e-cigarette use among youth, encourage youth to stand up against Big Tobacco and the e-cigarette industry and to push for change within their communities.

E-cigarette companies use the same tricks, including flavors and marketing campaigns, tobacco companies used for decades to target and recruit young smokers. This is not a surprise considering Big Tobacco companies own or have significantly invested in e-cigarette companies. These are the same tobacco companies that for decades lied about the addictiveness and health effects of cigarettes.


These products have become popular among Florida youth. Currently, one in four high schoolers and one in ten middle schoolers have used an electronic cigarette in the past thirty days. Not only do these devices contain nicotine, which is harmful to the developing brain, but the long-term health effects of these devices are unknown. SWAT will not stand by and let Big Tobacco treat fellow peers as lab rats to test these new products. Students in SWAT clubs across Okeechobee County has played an important role in educating peers about the dangers of electronic cigarettes and have challenged peers to live tobacco-free lives and join them in the stand against Big Tobacco.

This year our SWAT youth participated in a event where SWAT members painted pumpkins with anti-vaping messaging to help educated the public about the harmful effects of vaping.  This event with made possible thanks to Gilbert Chevy in Okeechobee Florida.

For more information on Students Working Against Tobacco and local youth efforts, please contact Courtney Moyett at